Recipients of the Age Pension, Disability Support Pension, and Carer Payments can expect an increase of $32.70 a fortnight for singles and $24.70 for couples.

This will bring the maximum fortnightly rate to $1,096.70 for singles and $826.70 for each member of a pensioner couple, or $1,653.40 combined.

The indexation of welfare payments kicks in on 20 September.

National Seniors Australia Chief Advocate Ian Henschke said while the increase is welcome, under the current system, pensioners are still behind inflation.

“More can be done to support older people doing it tough, as recent National Seniors research showed a greater proportion of people with low incomes and those who are renting are suffering from cost-of-living pressures,” Mr Henschke said.

“We recently heard from a couple paying $920 a fortnight in rent.

“As pensioners, this leaves them with only $907.40 a fortnight to pay for food, fuel, utilities, and other expenses.”

JobSeeker and Commonwealth Rent Assistance boosts

Single JobSeeker and ABSTUDY recipients aged over 22 with no children will receive an extra $56.10 per fortnight, taking the base rate to $749.20.

Meanwhile, couples will receive an extra $54.80 each a fortnight.

For a single aged 55 or over (after nine months), the rate will increase from $745.20 per fortnight to $802.50.

This increase is in addition to the $40 boost announced in the May Federal Budget

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) estimates that two in three (67%) Australians aged 65 and over receive an income support payment.

ACOSS Deputy CEO Edwina MacDonald said people relying on low income support payments have been hit hard by the rising cost of living and are in severe financial distress.

“Australia’s income support payments are among the lowest in wealthy nations and do not cover the essentials of life such as rent, energy and food, causing serious harm to those who rely on them,” Ms MacDonald said.

“People are regularly skipping meals, going without heating and cooling, forgoing essential medication and medical care, and experiencing social isolation.

“We must raise income support payments to at least the pension rate – currently $76 a day – to lift people out of poverty, improve wellbeing and support people to participate in employment and society.”

Single Aussies receiving Commonwealth Rent Assistance will see maximum payment rates lift from $157.20 to $184.80.

While each member of a couple will receive an extra $26 per fortnight with the allowance rising from $148 per fortnight to $174.

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